Pregnant? In a Wheelchair? Now, what!?


Nothing makes me feel more satisfied and full than watching my daughter sleep. She sleeps on her hands like Mama and positions her body like Daddy. It’s amazing how God balances uniqueness with similarities in our children.

I remember the day I learned I was pregnant — Oh em gee! Two pink lines? Yaaay! Nooooo! How could I? What am I gonna do? How am I gonna do it? Jubilation and fear co-existed. I always wanted to have kids, but I didn’t know how the pregnancy would fare after I got injured.

Taboo topics are back and this time, I’m talking about pregnancy! Let’s start with the doctors!

I searched everywhere for doctors in the DC area that specialized in pregnancies for women with spinal cord injuries. Zero. Ok, I thought. Maybe there are OB/GYNs that help pregnant women with Spina Bifida? Nope. MS? Nada. I soon realized that if these doctors existed, they were not advertised as such. So, I chose a group of doctors that had success with high-risk pregnancies.

I found an HU alum that I wanted to be my “primary” doc, but I quickly chose someone else when she asked “How are you gonna do this?” realizing that I needed help to get on the exam table. Terribly insensitive bedside manner!

Believe it or not, many of the OB/GYN offices have exam tables like the one pictured. When I see it, I immediately think to myself…Uh…I hope you had your Muscle Milk today because somebody in this office is gonna have to do some lifting.

Another OB/GYN that a hospital referred, gave me tons of information on all of my options.  They asked about medical, education, finances, family support, the fatigue, lack of sleep, difficulty with current condition, risks, and the list went on and on. On top of that, the office was like “Choose Your Own Adventure” because they gave you the rundown then told you to choose Doc A on the left side of the office if you wanted to keep the baby and Doc B on the right if you wanted to terminate the pregnancy. They should have had a psychologist stationed in the middle for all of that stress!

I didn’t gain much weight during my pregnancy, but I can’t give you an exact number because my docs didn’t have the capability to weigh me. Yep, another accessibility strike.

Although I ditched most of the meds I was on prior to becoming with child (do people still say that?), I was concerned about 2 that had no definitive harmful effect on my baby. Definitive is the operative word. I decided not to take the risk. My new doc (the female version of Hunt from Grey’s Anatomy) supported my decisions.

Finally, the delivery. My doc gave me two options: schedule a c-section or attempt a natural delivery with the possibility of using forceps or vacuum. The thought of my royalty being squeezed or sucked out didn’t sit well with me, so I chose the smiley face.

My pregnancy was pretty drama free and I gave birth to a healthy, full-term miracle. I give my docs a lot of credit, but I give myself more because I did my homework — the small amount that existed! I was still a guinea pig for the office that took care of us and there are a few things I would do differently, but the end result was worth the trials.

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